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ALI IBN SAHL IBN RABBAN ALTABARI (ABU AL-ḤASAN):

Physician and writer on medical subjects in Irak about the middle of the ninth century; born in Taberistan. His father, Sahl, was well known as an astronomer and mathematician. For a time Ali lived at Rai, where Mohammed al-Razi was his pupil in medicine. From Rai he went to Samarra, and for some years acted as secretary to Mazyar ibn ḳarin. He became a Mohammedan through the efforts of the Abbassid calif Al-Mu'taṣim (833-842), who took him into the service of the court, in which he continued under Al-Mutawakkel (847-861). Ali wrote the following works: (1) "Firdaus al-Ḥikmah" (Garden of Wisdom), called also "Al-Kunnash," a system of medicine in seven parts; (2) "Tuḥfat al-Muluk" (The King's Present); (3) a work on the proper use of food, drink, and medicines; (4) "Ḥafth al-Siḥḥah" (The Proper Care of Health), following Greek and Indian authorities; (5) "Kitab al-RuḲa" (Book of Magic or Amulets); (6) "Kitab fi al-Ḥijamah" (Treatise on Cupping); (7) "Kitab fi Tartib al-'Ardhiyah" (Treatise on the Preparation of Food).

Bibliography:
  • The chief authority is Al-Nadim (about 913-936), in his Fihrist, ed. Rödiger, i. 296, from which are drawn the notices in Al-ḳifṭi, ii. 141, and in Ibn Abi Oseibia, ed. Müller, i. 309. Compare Leclerc, Hist. de la Médecine Arabe, i. 292;
  • Wüstenfeld, Gesch. der Arabischen Aerzte, No. 55, p. 21;
  • Brockelmann, Gesch. der Arabischen Lit. 1898, i. 231;
  • Steinschneider, Jew. Lit. p. 194, and especially Z. D. M. G. liv. 46, where other authorities are cited;
  • Grätz, Gesch. d. Juden, v. 224. An extract from the "Firdaus" is given by Schreiner, in Monatsschrift, xlii. 462.
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